Isn't it time for England to give the Elgin Marbles back to Greece?

The Elgin Marbles

The Parthenon and the Elgin Marbles

Come on now… you know it’s the right thing to do.

Can open. Worms everywhere.

Is the USA planning on returning everything too?

All our loot (except for the real estate of course) is minor league compared to the Elgin Marbles. Besides the Greeks would really like to have them back.

Give Egypt back Cleopatras Needle too!

But Egypt has to pay shipping.

Isn’t about time we gave America back to the Indians? :rolleyes:

Too long ago, and what legal claim does the CURRENT government of Greece have on them?

Well, how about the current PEOPLE of Greece? The marbles are their cultural heritage, and it’s not like we’re asking the British to give back land or something.

I talked to the curator of a Native American museum not too long ago. She claimed (and I can’t swear to the truth of it) that years ago, her museum had loaned the British Museum some important Native artifacts.

After quite a while had passed, the Native American museum asked when the British Museum was planning to return them. “What artifacts?” the Brits replied. When copies of the paperwork was sent proving the loan, the British Museum supposedly claimed that they couldn’t find the artifacts, that they were “misplaced” in storage. The woman went on to say that a friend of hers claimed that on a visit to England he had seen said artifacts * on display. * The woman also claimed that hers was not the only museum which had “loaned” artifacts which were never returned.

As I said, I have no way of proving this story one way or the other. I did think it was an amusing antecdote, though. Perhaps the British Museum has “sticky fingers.” :slight_smile:

No. The Brits saved them from destruction or piecemeal plundering, and their acquisition was entirely legal under the law of the time. Suck it up, Greece–your history is in safe hands.

Ok, if it’s minor league, you can start returning it and then we’ll talk about Greece. For instance, I am sure Spain would like to have all those treasures from the Spanish galleons you have in Florida. The US naval Academy in Annapolis has a nice display of Mexican and Spanish canons too. Can we tell Mexico they can come and get them? Or will you be shipping them? Oh, and the USCG Eagle is actually a German ship and I am sure the Germans would love to have it back. And why are we leaving real estate out?

Actually, the U.S. has a legitimate claim to the Spanish shipwrecks in Florida’s waters. After all, the U.S. purchased the property of Florida from Spain. There are also international laws governing the ownership and salvage of ships in international waters, as well as laws governing the capture of booty in war. Suffice it to say that most or all of your examples of U.S. cultural property theft are actually not theft at all.

I’m dead serious, by the way. I have in fact studied the subject.

Because selling commercial real estate is how I make my living Sailor, and if we just go giving it away my brokerage fee would be, well… nothing! :eek:

Ok, so when America steals stuff it is fine to keep it (which is fine by me BTW). Now explain to me why when others steal stuff they don’t get to keep it. I am sure the Brits have as many legal arguments as anyone which will explain why they are entitled to keep their loot. I just can’t see much difference between the US army plundering Mexico city and the British army plundering Greece. can you explain it to me? (I am not saying there is no difference, I am saying I need it explained)

You mean we’re going to lose our marbles?

Lob: Don’t be silly. They’re the Belgian marbles that are being lost.

What has been stolen? The Spanish galleons were on American territory. The American government bought them when it bought Florida from the Spanish. No theft there.

Which cultural treasures did the US steal from Mexico in the aftermath of the Mexican-American War?

Plus, the British didn’t “plunder” Greece. Do you even know the history of the Elgin Marbles? It is a hotly debated topic. One side says that the documents that Elgin used to justify sawing the marbles off of the Parthenon (and destroying several others in the process), in fact, authorized no such thing. As such, the Greek government considers them to be stolen and smuggled goods - no different than if I were to break into the British Museum and steal the marbles and smuggle them into the US. The British government didn’t take them, they bought them off of Elgin a few years later after a heated debate as to whether the marbles were obtained legally.

The other side, the British side, maintains that the documents do in fact carry the necessary legal weight and so the status of the marbles is not one of theft, but one of trade (sort of). And perfectly legal.

It’s not like the British came in after conquering Greece and just took them during their time of colonization.

Plus, artifacts stolen by the Nazis during WWII were given back to their original owners in the decades that followed. I think Austria and Switzerland just authorized it, so it’s not without precedent.

I have to confess that I don’t know the entire history, but it’s hard to believe that the Greeks (gov’t, people, whatever) would EVER willingly sell a piece of the Parthenon. It would be like the US selling the original copy of the Declaration of Independence.

I’m guessing that the Brits are as concerned about the precident that would be set (wrt other disputed property) as they are about keeping their hands on the Marbles.

As an aside, I’ll never forget the sense of awe I felt in going into the British museum and seeing this peice of history. And then seeing “the” Rosetta stone (not a copy, the real thing), and then going into the next room, and the next, and the next. Made any museum I had been to in the US look like some small town coutry fair. I kept thinking-- Man, these guys know how to plunder!

Of course not. It is, however, incumbent on the complainant to demonstrate that the property in question was in fact “stolen,” legally speaking. Simply labeling it as such, as you did in your post above, is probative of nothing more than your conclusion that it should be handed over to somebody else for undescribed reasons.

Pray tell. I hope, of course, that you will in fact demonstrate the property in question was “stolen.”

Quite so. Would you care to discuss the merits of those legal arguments, or shall we ask this to be moved to IMHO?

Certainly. As I recall it, “booty” (and I may be misremembering my labels here) consists of property that is captured during war and that is of a military nature (for instance, the cannons you identified in your post above) or that is required for the maintenance of the army that captures it (food, fuel, etc.). Mmmm, booty.

“Plunder,” on the other hand, is everything else taken by force of arms. The U.S. can’t send the 4th Infanty into Paris and take the contents of the Louvre back to the National Gallery. But we can damn well eat every truffle in the entire county and use their nuclear reactors to power our atomic death rays, and there ain’t no violation of international law if we do so.

So what did you identify above?[ul][]treasures from the Spanish galleons you have in Florida: we bought 'em when we bought Florida[]Mexican and Spanish canons: booty captured during time of warUSCG Eagle: booty captured during time of war[/ul]Sorry, you’re going to have to do better than that. There are some real sticklers in international cultural property, but you have not identified any of them thus far.

They’ve got the Rosetta Stone too… ?!! :eek: :smack:

Well that’s nothing! We’ve got the um…uh…um…[sub]mumble…British bastards.[/sub]